Most people interested in getting abs will have seen an abdominal exercise gadget infomercial with all those fit men and women. But have you ever wondered if those ab gadgets really work as claimed?
If you want the real truth about abs then fitness expert Craig Ballantyne, author of Turbulence Training, recently reviewed a research study on ab exercise gadgets to help you decide.
According to Craig, one of his favorite ab exercises includes one of those cheap infomercial gadgets, “the ab wheel”. You can pick one up at Walmart for under 20 bucks, and it works your abs hard without crunches.
But do other ab gadgets really work?
Researchers (from the Mayo Clinic, of all places) tested the “Ab-Slide” device and compared it to the ab crunch, the supine double leg thrust (seated knee tuck-in), and side plank.
J Strength Cond Res. 2008 Nov;22(6):1939-46.
Ten young men and twelve young women did all the exercises.
Tests showed that the Ab-Slide, a contraption fairly similar to the Ab Wheel, worked the abs the hardest.
On the other hand, the seated knee tuck-in required a lot of hip flexion, and the doctors believed it could cause BACK PROBLEMS in people prone to low back injury.
Craig recommends sticking with the Ab Wheel, and of course, keeping crunches out of your program. He also suggests adding the Seated Knee Tuck-in to your list of ab exercises to avoid.
For best results, stick to the exercises in the Turbulence Training workout program.
What about crunches then?
By the way, if you are thinking of doing crunches to get abs then this might make you think twice.
Not only are crunches hard on your low back, they are also useless for helping you to get a flat stomach.
A much better way is to stick to interval training, the ab exercises in Turbulence Training, and the TT nutrition guidelines if you want to transform your body.